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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » READ-ONLY ARCHIVE » General Health & Nutrition » To flush or not to flush.

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Author Topic: To flush or not to flush.
Horizon
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Sorry if this is the wrong place to put this. Or sounds really silly. I can't seem to find a straight answer online or anywhere else, so I figured I might ask you guys if it is safe to flush a tampon (just the cotton part) down the toilet.

I have this strange fear of flushing them and having the toilet overflow and causing a big, embarrassing mess, but at the same time, I hate leaving them in trashcans.

Thank you.

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-Kayla
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Heather
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It's better to toss tampons in the trash, but they also won't likely mess up septic systems, either.

I mean, ideally, when we're talking bout the environment, it's better not to use disposable menstrual products, period. But if you're going to, tampons are best tossed, but okay for most toilets, too. It's the applicators which are way not okay for flushing.

[ 03-08-2008, 11:52 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Horizon
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Okay, thanks so much. [Smile]

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-Kayla
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KittenGoddess
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You may want to be more careful though if you're in an older home or one that doesn't have good water pressure though. Sometimes old homes have smaller pipes or may be more likely to have plumbing problems.

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Sarah Liz

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Horizon
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Yeah I probably would be better off throwing them in the trash, I guess.

I had to throw a tampon away at my boyfriend's house the other night, but I have this odd issue where I can't let anyone see a tampon I have thrown away in the trash, wrapped in toilet paper or not. So I flushed it, which was pretty dumb because his house was built in like..1900 or something [Frown] But I suppose I would rather put it in the trash from now on instead of risk having his dad (a plumber) work off-duty to plunge my idiocy out of his toilet.

Anyway. Thank you. [Smile]

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eonone
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Our house has tree roots that have wrapped around or interceded our pipe lines. We've always kept our toilet paper and everything in the trash, but one time my sister came down for a visit, and sure enough, everything stopped up. The plumber found that a HUGE glob of tampons was the culprit, and she was absolutely mortified.

So, if in doubt, trash it. You shouldn't have to worry about it in public restrooms- they usually have it posted everywhere if you shouldn't flush.

And, of course, if you don't like the idea of flushing your tampons or leaving them in the trash for someone else to maybe handle later, there are other options- menstrual cups, reusable pads, etc. [Wink]

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oOo Lea oOo
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Also, most public restrooms have little trashcans built onto the side of the stall wall for this purpose. It is used to dispose of tampon applicators, tampons, pads, and the like.

If your in a place where you're uncomfortable with people seeing it (which you shouldn't be, honestly, because all women go through it and all men know what goes on with women) such as your boyfriends or another friend, or so on, just simply wrap it up in something and toss it in the trash bin. I have a friend who carries feminine wipes with her when she's menstruating. She uses the wipes then disposes her tampon inside it so its hidden.

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SnailShells
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I had this predicament at my boyfriend's house once; I was totally taken by surprise when I couldn't find a trash can in the bathroom! So I just tried to look dignified walking out of the bathroom with a big wad of toilet paper, asking him where I could dispose of it, then throwing it away in the kitchen garbage. He looked very confused and a little worried (he even asked if I was okay, which required some awkward explanation), but I can't imagine how stopping up their toilet would have been somehow less embarassing! [Wink]

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LacieC
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tossing them down a toilet on a spetic system can really mess them up because of the way those systems work. I worked at a spetic company and that was an issue that a lot of women didn't know and could really mess up the drain fields and tanks themselves. They decompose much slower than toilet paper and solid waste (poop) and can float causing them to sneak into the drain pipe. Sewers are a little different but I still do not flush them at all.

[ 03-17-2008, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: LacieC ]

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Horizon
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Yeah, seems like a cruddy idea to flush them now, doesn't it? I'm sure I won't do that anymore at my boyfriend's ancient house, or at mine for that matter. It's too bad that I hate pads with a furious passion, and the idea of using a menstrual cup weirds me out.

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-Kayla
Scarleteen Volunteer

"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses." -Hippocrates

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LollySocks
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I suggest flushing them anyway. There's VERY little chance of them causing any problem to the septic system/tank. Nobody wants to see somebody else's dirty bloody tampon in the trash. Just don't flush the applicator!

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ASargent42
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(Lolly, as it's been pointed out elsewhere in this same thread, flushing tampons/pad CAN do a lot of damage to a septic system. Besides just normal blockage, they do take a very long time to decompose, leading to other problems in the plumbing. Besides, I think most women tend to wrap their used tampon/pad in tissue/toilet paper before disposing of it. Then no one would be seeing a bloody tampon.)

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Amanda
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